QR Codes for Learning on Digital Learning Day

Classroom Tools on February 03 2014

QR codes are going to be integrated in many events that are being planned for Digital Learning Day.  Many teachers are using these two-dimensional codes as a learning tool in the classroom.  To use QR Codes, you need to have a tool to create them and a tool to read them using a mobile device.

Creating QR Codes

There are a number of sites that provide the tools to create QR codes. One of my favorites is QRStuff.  At QRStuff, you can create codes that contain a wide variety of data.  One of the most frequently used is a code leading to a web resource.  If you want to give your code a little bit of style, on this site you can also choose a color. Once created, the code image can be downloaded and saved to your computer.

DLDay_QRAnother option is to use the Google URL Shortener. Not only will this generate a short URL for a website, but it will also give you a QR code.  In addition, you’ll be able to track the usage of your URL/QR code (if signed into a Google account).  Paste the web address that you’d like to shorten, click on the Shorten URL button, then click on Details.

DLDay_codeThis takes you to a page where you’ll see your QR code at the top. Right-click and choose Save Image.  Now, you’re ready to print the code or place it into any presentation or lesson creation software.

In addition to QRStuff and the Google URL Shortener, you might also consider:

  • QR Code Generator:  Sign up for a free account.  Converting codes to dynamic codes allows you to maintain a code image but change the content.  This site will also track the usage of your codes.
  • GoQR.me: No account needed. You can adjust the size of your code, download it or embed it on a website.
  • Kaywa: A free account allows you to create a code, download it or embed it on a website.

Reading QR Codes

Reading or scanning QR codes requires you to download an app to a mobile device that has a camera.  In general, you’ll first open the app then point your camera to the code which will then take you to the web source. One of my favorite QR code reader apps is iNigma for both iOS and Android devices. Two other popular free code reader apps to consider are QRafter for iOS, and QR Code Reader for iOS and Android

Here are a few ways that teachers are integrating the use of QR codes for Digital Learning Day:

  • Nate Perry Elementary, New York: Students will learn to use QR codes to create audio files containing their poem recitation and interpretation of the poem.
  • Centennial High, Georgia: Teachers will implement a variety of lessons to help students enhance their learning utilizing digital technology. QR codes will be placed throughout the school to peak interest in Digital Learning Day.
  • Eisenhower Middle School, New Jersey: The Tech Club is working on creating a QR Code Scavenger Hunt that will be run during lunch periods so every student will have the opportunity to participate.
  • Bellmawr Park Elementary School, New Jersey: This school will be having a QR Code Scavenger Hunt. There will be 10 Codes hidden all around the school. The students will scan the QR code using the iPad, which will give them a general 2nd Grade question to be answered on their notepads.
  • Archer Elementary School, North Carolina:  Students in 3-5 will participate in a “QR Take Over”, where they will highlight different features in the classroom and around the school and create a QR code to accompany the feature.

For more on creating and using QR Codes, take a look at our webinar.

How do you use QR codes in your instruction?